Friday, March 13, 2009

Move Nuclear Waste Management Out of Dept of Energy

The Center is a member of the Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Coalition (NFR Coalition or NFRC) and we are promoting the removal of nuclear waste management from the U.S. Department of Energy and establishing an entirely separate agency to perform this function. We are proposing the formation of a Nuclear Waste Management Agency (NWMA) to handle all nuclear waste in the United States.

The NFR Coalition has been established to promote the construction and operation of nuclear reprocessing facilities. NFRC promotes reprocessing commercial spent nuclear fuel that is generated by commercial nuclear power plants. Reprocessing dramatically reduces the amount of high-level radioactive waste that would have to be stored in a geologic repository. We also support reprocessing plutonium and highly enriched uranium from nuclear warheads into fuel for use in commercial nuclear power plants.

William Tucker writes in an article in The Wall Street Journal entitled, "There Is No Such Thing as Nuclear Waste":

"France, which completely reprocesses its recyclable material, stores all the unused remains -- from 30 years of generating 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy -- beneath the floor of a single room at La Hague."
Center President Norris McDonald is standing (center) about three feet above that waste at LaHague in the photo above.

The draft legislation reads in part:

To amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 U.S.C. 10101) to establish the United States Nuclear Waste Management Agency to manage all Federal and civilian spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste management programs currently under the control of the United States Department of Energy; to establish and operate low-level radioactive waste receipt, supplementary segregation, treatment and burial or monitored/retrievable storage facilities on a fee basis; and to promote spent nuclear fuel reprocessing as a viable technology to aid in achieving and maintaining our national security and National Energy Policy goals, and for its potential to significantly reduce the total volume of radioactive waste designated for disposal in a Federal geologic repository.
The Center, in cooperation with the NFR Coalition, will be promoting this solution in Congress and to the Obama administration.

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